Brighton & Hove Albion fans had the experience of a lifetime after witnessing their side obliterate Manchester United 1-3 in the Premier League.
The Seagulls are flying high on momentum after winning 4 of their first five Premier League games and dominating the Red Devils at their own stadium. It was a wonderful outing for the travelling fans, who took over Old Trafford after the final whistle.
However, something noticed to be visible in the Brighton supporters’ section has seemingly annoyed a Brighton South Korea fan club with over 400 followers on Twitter.
The Korean Brighton supporters’ account posted a picture of a Japanese Rising Sun flag with the caption ‘PLEASE DON’T DO THIS, IT’S DISGUSTING. JUST STOP’. This flag might’ve been carried by some Brighton fans in support of their Japanese sensation Kaoru Mitoma.
The reason why Korean fans want this flag to be banned is because of its controversial past. The Rising Sun flag, consisting of a red disc and a number of red rays, is symbolic of the sun and has been used for many decades.
However, the flag is also considered a symbol of Japanese militarism and imperialism of Korean people. That is because the Japanese imperial navy used the flag in the early 20th century when Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula.
The flag is actually banned by FIFA. The federation doesn’t allow the South Korean national teams or fans to bring it to games. The Korean Brighton fan also gave an example of the Rising Sun’s flag’s association with the Nazi Swastika. The two symbols were placed alongside one another during World War II when Nazi Germany and Japan had formed an alliance.
For South Koreans, this flag is a reminder of Japan’s past tortures upon their people.
However, some Japanese fans might be offended by this. That is because they find it to be an important symbol of their culture.
The Rising sun symbol is also one that symbolizes the sun, which is a vital part of Japan’s culture and history. There is a reason behind that, the sun rises first in Japan than anywhere else in the world. As a result – the Japanese people are very respectful towards the sun and consider it a good omen for their country’s well-being.
The Rising Sun flag is actually considered a tribute to the sunrise. It is still used around in Japan in daily life activities such as celebrating childbirth and being noticed in flags for festivals.
Brighton are yet to comment on the possibility of banning this flag from being brought to their games. That could be because doing so might trigger a cultural debate that ends up losing the club and holds them back from building a stronger fanbase in Asia.